Sadly, children who are abused and neglected can find it difficult to interact positively with other people or express themselves in words. They struggle to understand their feelings and frequently feel overwhelmed.
Angry and alone
10-year old Jared was used to looking after himself, and not depending on anyone.
He would get very angry if anyone demanded anything of him, or inconvenienced him in any way. He rarely attended school, and when he did, nothing much made sense so he was regularly in trouble.
At 10, Jared was reunited with his father, and a referral was made to Act for Kids WSITS (Western Sydney Integrated Therapy Services) by his child protection caseworker to support successful placement.
How we helped
The team at Act for Kids provided trauma therapy to help Jared to make sense of his feelings and processes his experiences, in an effort to heal some of the trauma he had experienced throughout his young life.
When Jared was coping better emotionally and feeling supported, he identified school was very hard for him as he couldn’t read and keep up with his peers, but he liked learning new things.
Jared is now really enjoying working with our speech pathologist to improve his language and literacy. Jared is excited every week by how much he is learning, and is reporting more and more successes at school. Jared’s father is often expressing his gratitude at the support they have received, and the hope they now have for a happy and successful family life.
The Bigger Problem
…were abused or neglected
…every 13 minutes
Under 12 Months
…to be abused or neglected
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child protection Australia 2019-20.
Abuse and neglect
The majority (54%) experience emotional abuse, followed by neglect (22%). One in five (14%) experience physical abuse and 9% experience sexual abuse.
Abuse and neglect can impact a child’s brain development, how they feel and think about themselves, how successful they are at school, even their physical development and skills. In the long term this can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, difficulty developing and maintaining good relationships, unemployment and all sorts of social disadvantage.
Early intervention makes the world of difference
It takes a lot of hard work to heal little hearts. Although Jared continues to improve, he still struggles with anxiety and will need long-term support to help his overcome the years of abuse and neglect. He’s experienced a lot of trauma in his short life, but with continued support and positive reinforcement, Jared will go on to express himself with confidence, engage in conversations, and no longer be filled with fear.
Thank you for helping us to keep kids like Jared safe, heal from trauma and live happier lives.
How you can help
We can’t do this important work without your help. We rely heavily on donations to support our intensive therapy programs for abused and neglected kids, and early support for families at risk. Your donation will help us keep our doors open and expand our services.
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